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John_B

Street legal WR400 in Washington State

10 posts in this topic

Anyone in Washington State have a street legal WR400? If so how is your bike setup? I purchased my bike from Oregon with a plate but nothing else to make it 'street legal'. I transferred the bike to my name and now have the Washington plate!

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Originally posted by John B:

Anyone in Washington State have a street legal WR400? If so how is your bike setup? I purchased my bike from Oregon with a plate but nothing else to make it 'street legal'. I transferred the bike to my name and now have the Washington plate!

I just moved from Portland (OR) to San Diego last month. I plated my WR426 in Oregon before leaving so I could get a California plate when the time came. I've been looking into dual-sport kits for a while and have done a lot of research...the far-and-above winner for me (at least on paper) was the Dakar kit from ElectrexUSA! (ElectrexUSA Dakar Dual-Sport Kit info page)

I actually went to Oceanside, CA to see the company and get some more info about the kit, and to ask all the "tough" questions of the sales guys (I even brought my bike in case we needed specific references). What I found was a small, owner-operated company that prides itself on quality. The first person I met was the owner (Ritzo) and he was assembling kits himself, in the shop! Needless to say, after 10 minutes with Ritzo my mind was made up!

It was now about 4:00pm and I had decided that the Electrex Dakar kit was the one for me. To make this deal even one step better, Ritzo said, "Go ahead and wheel your bike in and I'll install the kit for you." I told him that I had planned to do it myself so I could take lots of pictures and do a ThumperTalk product review. He said he'd be happy to let me use his digital camera and take pictures along the way. So the owner of the company installed the kit while I took picture and notes...over and above the call of duty in my book!

The kit is removable in under 5 minutes if you decide to spare it the torture of off-road riding but I can tell you, It's TOUGH! I went to the motocross track in Lake Elsinore yesterday and left the kit on (for testing purposes, not because I'm lazy :) ) and it held up better than I did...even after my bike bucked me off the back side of a 15' table-top, there was not even a scratch, a broken blinker, nothing wrong with the kit at all. I went for a night ride last night and everything still works great!

Keep checking the site over the next few weeks for the write-up that I do on this kit. But if you don't want to wait, I'd recommend the kit!

Good luck and let us know what you decided to do,

--Steve

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Steve-

Couple of quick questions. Do they use the existing headlight, taillight stuff? and the bottom line how much?

Thanks

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Originally posted by endurodog:

Steve-

Couple of quick questions. Do they use the existing headlight, taillight stuff? and the bottom line how much?

Thanks

They don't use the original headlight or tail light. Both are replaced with DOT spec lights.

Price...about $450 in California with sales tax...but well worth it! I'm actually here at work (I know, nothing better to do on a Saturday night) and rode the WR in (about 15 miles). It's really nice to be street legal. :) I'm thinking I may go Super Motard I like it so much!

If you do call them, ask for Ritzo (he's the owner and a *really* cool guy) and tell him Steve from ThumperTalk sent you... :D

Hope this helps,

--Steve

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I also bought my wr in Oregon and it had a Oregon plate. It just had mirrors and a brake light. I took it down to the state patrol in tacoma and they just looked at the numbers on the frame and gave me a washington plate. It was pretty easy.

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What about the tank? Doesn't it have to be metal to be street legal? How about a larger size regulator?

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JohnB,

No Federal law requires ANYTHING of individual owners/builders of Reconstructed Vehicles. (Is that how your's is titled?) Each state sets its own requirements. Some states such as IA, are trying to misapply Federal law covering vehicles manufactured for resale and profit and imported into the U.S.(please refer to the excellent letter from Alan Roach of Baja Designs to the state of IA in my earlier post).

No state I am aware of requires a metal gas tank on Reconstructed Vehicles. They don't exist for most modern vehicles. Some MAY require a metal cap? Can't find any. Few, if any,(factory)passenger vehicles manufactured in recent decades HAVE metal tanks (look under yours). On your car or pickup, that plastic tank hangs INCHES above every conceivable road hazard, and THEY are legal.

I know of no non-commercial vehicle mfd. today that has a metal cap either.Steel rusts, plastic doesn't. Plastic "forgives" impacts that permanantly damages metal. Neither is 'puncture-proof'. If plastic were not superior overall, manufacturers such as Ford with their infamous steel-tanked, fireball Pintos of the 70's and GM with the '73 to '87 pickups would not be using it now.

I have articles and info in this area, please let me know if you need any of it.

I sent a letter, with FACTS to back it up, to the IA DOT 2 weeks ago in response to their attempt to sieze my title and plates: "Back off or pay for the vehicle AND be sued." THEY "created" this vehicle BEFORE I ever purchased it. They are screwed and they know it. I have heard NOTHING from them since, though I EAGERLY want to take this before a jury, I doubt it gets that far. I truly believe reason will prevail. They have painted themselves into a nasty corner and have only a couple of ways out. Only ONE of those is fair, legal and reasonable: Apply Reconstructed Vehicle requirements fairly and evenly!(like they used to).

Actually, the impression I got was that IDOT WANTS to be fair and reasonable, but feel their hands are tied by a Federal law which (it turns out) is being misapplied through some state official's misinterpretation (not a Judge's). This is the source of the MSO and frame number nonsense that they WRONGLY have decided compels them to discriminate against our vehicles. All I REALLY have to do is prove it does NOT apply. (State Law allows for Reconstruction.) To make it even easier, THAT federal law SPECIFICALLY exempts me from its provisions. It also exempts all vehicles requiring "further manufacture". Go ahead, misapply it or don't apply it, either way, I can't lose. Checkmate.

I would love to share that letter and info here, but have expounded on this matter (too?) much. I will wait till the final outcome (and ride my bike all I want wherever I want in the meantime). I WILL win and will have the extreme (secondary) pleasure of showing Mr. Wood, of the AMA, how incompetent and wrong he is. The really crazy part is he is RIGHT that NO federal law compels states in ANY way regarding Reconstructed Vehicle requirements. Why then, does he fail to see the impropriety of some states "hiding behind" or misapplying this same federal law, which he admits DOES NOT EXIST, for the sole purpose of discriminating against our vehicles? You can't have it both ways!

Part 2 of your question regarding the regulator must(?) be because of doubts whether the stock STATOR can power a DOT approved headlight? It can, but ONLY a standard (minimum requirement) wattage. If you want to upgrade to a higher output light, your STATOR will need to be rewound. Contact Baja Designs about this, it is a good option but must be done by pros.

One further word of caution: according to Mr. Roach, this battle was fought and won in WA a few years back only to be lost the very next year by a new group of legislators. This would indicate a state law might now exist in WA to cause you trouble. Transfering it from out-of-state as an already titled and licensed vehicle (and re-VIN-ed?)may be what 'saved' you. Keep a low profile! :)

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John,

Since you already got a WA plate, I'm assuming your main concern with the requirements for being street legal is in case you get pulled over. Just off the top of my head, the requirements in WA State are as follows:

-Mirrors

-Horn (can be non-electric)

-DOT tires

-Working brake/tail light

-Hi/Low Beam headlight, with blue hi beam indicator light

-White license plate illumination light

-Note: Lights are required to be able to stay lit for 15 minutes after turning off the bike (this requires the use/installation of a battery

Also Note: The head and tail lights on the WR are technically not street legal in WA, as they are not DOT approved. Baja Designs offers DOT approved headlights and tail lights either in kit form, or individually.

*Turn signals are optional (I don't have them, and just use hand signals instead)

*As for a speedometer, that's kind of a gray area in WA State. It depends on how the RCW is interpreted. To be safe, and not draw any undue attention, I'd recommend having one. Hope you got my reply to your private message about using a bicycle computer. They're cheap, and work great. I use my speedo all the time, and not only for speed reference, but for trip mileages, time, etc.

A metal gas tank is not required to pass a State Patrol inspection.

Bottom line: If you want to be absolutely 100% street legal, then I'd suggest a Baja Designs dualsport kit. If you're just worried about being pulled over and getting a ticket for an equipment (or lack thereof) violation, then you have some choices to make. Like I said in my private reply, my bike is about 85% street legal. Very few cops will not notice if you don't have a horn, or if your lights are not DOT approved. They might check the tires for the DOT imprint. They probably will not notice if you don't have a hi-beam indicator, or if your lights will stay on for 15 min. if you shut the bike off. The only guys who might look for these things are the ones who specialize, like off-road or ORV deputies and some state troops. No matter which way you go, the most important thing is to just ride smart (and safe), and don't draw any undue attention to yourself.

And like Chaindrive said, the only reason you got a WA plate was because you were just transferring a license from OR. Like I said in my private message, you can no longer get WR's inspected and approved for a license plate in WA State. There is a lot of heat on the legislators in Olympia, and hopefully they will reverse this ban in the near future. Good luck...

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The key to this whole problem lies in showing these few individual states that no federal law prohibits reconstruction. If the state wishes to do so, they can, but only with State legislation. This legislation would then HAVE to be applied evenly and fairly across the board to ALL reconstructed vehicles regardless of what standards they set: emissions, noise, etc. The resulting Scream would be loud and sustained if THAT happened! They are taking an illegal and cowardly way out otherwise. :)

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Hi Tim in WA,

I didn't recieve your reply to my private message. Can I assume it is similar to the reply that is posted? If not, please resend.

Thanks

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